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Saptakoshi Flood and VCN instant response

The incessant rain that occurred in Eastern Nepal from 2ndAugust 2022 had caused the largest river of Nepal, Saptakoshi to swell. And in the morning of 3rd August 2022, Wednesday,Saptakoshi returned to its original course after 34 years inundating several settlements of Udaypur and Sunsari districts in Province 1 of Nepal.

The swollen Saptakoshi River eroded the western embankment in Dumribote area, and entered the settlements in ward 1, 2, 3, 8, and 9 of Belaka Municipality in Udaypur and ward 6 and 9 of Barahchhetra Municipality in Sunsari on Wednesday. Personnel from Nepal Army, Armed Police Force, Nepal police, volunteers and local people were mobilized for rescue of people. 2,500 families had to be relocated to the safer places following the flood. Around 20,000 people were displaced from their homes. The rescued people had taken the shelters in public buildings like schools andcommunity buildings. The water has started to dry up and most of the families have returned to their home. However, 67 families are still taking shelter in 3 different location: 16 families are in Aadharbhut Primary School in Satpatre ward no. 3, 25 families are in Koshi Janata Secondary School and remaining 26 families are in Kantechauri Shelter House.

As soon as the news of breach of embankment by Koshi circulated, several stakeholders reached the area with rescue, relief and assessment team. One of the organization actively participating in rescue, relief and assessment of the flooded area was Volunteer Corps Nepal (VCN). VCN’s volunteers were on ground immediately after the flood occurred and helped in relocation of the people. The team in coordination with the municipality has been mobile to assess the extent of damage caused by the flood. They have been evaluating the situation together with Municipality Mayor Mr. Ashok Karki.

While the work of evaluation, victims’ identification and relief was still going on, another instance of heavy rainfall on 6thAugust 2022, intensified the damage caused by Koshi in Ward no. 1 and 2 of Belaka Municipality. According to Mayor. Ashok Karki, 208 families have been affected in ward no. 1 and the exact data of affected families in ward no. 2 has not yet been confirmed. “We were on our way to Municipality Office in Ramnagar after completing the damage assessment in ward no. 2 caused by the koshi flood when the rainfall occurred on the 6thof august. The intense rainfall caused 3 rivers on the way to Ramnagar to swell suddenly. Our vehicle could not pass the rivers and we were stuck in ward no. 1 and witnessed the devastation caused by the flooding rivers. It was the largest flood that had happened in that area in 10 years.” Mayor Karkisaid. VCN and Mayor Ashok Karki shared a message from the same place appealing the people to remain safe and cautious during the flood and act with patience.

VCN has responded to the flood caused by the rain on 6thAugust with food items, kitchen items, hygiene kits, mats and mosquito nets to 25 most affected families and 120 families with foods, mats, mosquito nets, buckets and hygiene kits. The response was carried out through the financial support of Sowers Action, Hong Kong, China.